Walking around the central village area
Begin at the Paekākāriki Railway Station (#1 on the map), built in 1909. You might like to begin by looking around the Paekākāriki Station Museum which opened in the Station in 1995.
Walk south along the platform towards the village. You will pass the signal box (Number 2 on the map), which was restored through community effort and relocated to its original site at the south end of the platform. The original signal box from the north end of the platform has been restored and relocated to Ohakune.
When you reach the railway crossing turn right – you will see the Paekākāriki hotel, Finns (# 14 on the map). There has been a hotel in the village since the late 1840s.
Cross the road to the Holtom’s Building and shops (# 3 on the map). The general store dates back to the early 1900s. The Holtom’s Building was built in 1920. The plaque on the door tells you some of its history. There used to be a crushing plant nearby, on the other side of the railway line, before the highway was built. Shells were crushed for construction use.
Next, walk along Beach Road towards the sea, on the same side of the road as Holtom’s, until you get to St Peter’s Church (# 4 on the map) and, next door, St Peter’s Village Hall (Number 5).
Cross Ames Street and head further along Beach Road towards the sea and the beginning of The Parade. Pearl and Florrie’s Way (# 6) will take you down to the sea. If you cross over the road at this point you will arrive at Murray Hill Point (# 7). You might like to sit on one of the seats and enjoy the view.
Walk back along Beach Road back towards the Station as far as the public toilets at the corner. Then turn left and walk along the left-hand side of Wellington Road until you see the Paekākāriki Playcentre on the other side of the road (# 8 on the map). This house was originally built by one of the village’s early settler families in 1904. Cross here for a closer look.
Walk back along Wellington Road towards Beach Road again. You will pass the Paekākāriki Tennis Club and Library (# 9) and the Bowling Club (# 10). This is located on what used to be a small lake and surrounding wetland before it was drained for development. The lake used to be a popular boating area. At one stage, the area behind the current club was used to feed and water Cobb and Co horses.
Return along Wellington Road to the site of Paekākāriki’s last Post Office on the corner of Wellington Road and Beach Road (# 11 on the map). Earlier Post Offices were located in the hotel and and the railway station before moving to a purpose-built building close to the hotel around about 1905 and its final building and residence in the 1920s.
As you head back on Beach Road you will pass the sites of Carson’s Chemist (#12 on the map) and one of Paekākāriki’s earliest butchers (# 13 on the map).
A short walk retracing your first steps will take you to the hotel (# 14). You will see Paekākāriki Hill Road on the other side of the railway crossing (# 15 on the map).
Enjoy your choice of refreshments at the hotel or the range of cafes opposite.
You may like to extend your walk along The Parade, Ames Street and/or Tilley Road. Points of interest are shown on the map also.
Walking in The Parade area
Beach Road becomes The Parade when it reaches the sea. Walking along this beautiful coastal road is a delight in its own right. But there are also some interesting heritage sites along the way. These include the various sites of the Paekākāriki Surf Club as it shifted northwards to its current site at the northern end of The Parade. These sites were, for the first two clubs, across the road from the current house at 6 The Parade (# 16 on the map) and opposite the Sand Track (# 17 on the map), which heads right off The Parade. The third incarnation is now the Memorial Hall (# 18 on the map). The fourth incarnation, at the northern end of The Parade, is due to be rebuilt further back from the coast as part of a retreat response to coastal erosion and sea rise. Along the way you will also pass Campbell Park. If you keep on walking into Queen Elizabeth Park, and head north to the Lookout Point, you will see the Wainui Pa Site (# 19 on the map). While in the park, you may also like to search out the US Marines Camp site.
Walking in the Ames Street area
There are plenty of places of interest along Ames Street. Turn left at the Village Hall (# 5 on the map) and head to 35 Ames Street. This is the site of the original Railway Refreshment Girls’ Hostel (# 20 on the map). Unfortunately, the charming hostel burned down in the 1980s. Further along the road, one of New Zealand’s most loved poets – Dennis Glover – moved to 66 Ames Road in 1964 (# 21 on the map). You can read more about him on the Personalities page. The Ames Street Reserve (# 22 on the map) at the south end of Ames Street is the site of an early railway settlement. Many of the original houses have since been relocated out of the village. If you walk through the reserve, you will come to the north end of Centennial Highway, opened in 1939 (# 23 on the map) and the iconic restaurant, Fisherman’s Table (# 24).
Walking in the Tilley Road area
If you head along Wellington Road, you can reach Tilley Road turning right at Robertson Road. The Paekākāriki Playcentre (# 8 on the map) is on the corner of Wellington Road and Robertson Road. You will come to Tilley Road, which heads north to Queen Elizabeth Park. You will eventually see the Railway Station on your right. If you keep walking you will pass Tawara Street on your left (# 25 on the map). This street is part of a 1960s sub-division and was named after the Battle of Tarawa (in Kiribati). Keep walking along Tilley Road until you reach Betty Perkins’ Way (# 26 on the map), which is adjacent to 100 Tilley Road. This track will take you across the railway to the State Highway. The original Paekākārikii School house, built in the 1880s, is at 293 State Highway 1 (# 27 on the map).